The trend with today’s consoles has been wireless. All three platforms have adopted this technology as the standard for their respective controllers, although this wire-free experience comes with an all too common problem – batteries. Out of three console makers, only Sony has decided to use a rechargeable only battery solution for their wireless controller, while Microsoft and Nintendo have given their users the choice of how to power their wireless controllers. Out of these two platforms only Microsoft has given an option to go rechargeable with their Play and Charge kits and recharge units. Nintendo on the other hand have yet to offer a first-party response to recharging their Wii Remotes. Thankfully third-party peripheral developers JOYTECH have taken up this slack with their latest product for the Wii, the Power Station. So let’s dive on in and see if JOYTECH has given an answer to this “Wii” battery issue.
The Power Station from JOYTECH consists of a rechargeable docking station and battery packs for your Nintendo Wii Remotes. Inside the packaging you will find the docking station, two battery packs, a power cable and the usual guides and manuals. The docking station is an elegant and sturdy bit of kit. The design of the Power Station mirrors the lines and curves found on the Wii console and its controllers, so the unit will sit nicely alongside the console and will not look out of place. Recessed into the Power Station is a pair of Wii Remote slots, by attaching each of the supplied battery packs into the back of each Wii Remote you can then slide each remote into these slots to power them. The battery packs themselves do not add any more additional weight to the Wii Remote than when using standard batteries. Of course we need some form of power to be able to charge these battery packs and JOYTECH have come up with a very simple and easy solution to this. Rather than supplying a power brick for this device JOYTECH have come up with a “daisy-chain” power cable that connects in between the Wii console and its power lead, therefore tapping into the Wii’s existing power supply, very clever JOYTECH!
From empty, each battery pack will take roughly four hours to recharge. It’s difficult to assess the life of these recharge packs, as each Wii title varies how much power it demands from the Wii Remote. That said, running out of juice shouldn’t be a problem though as the Power Station acts as a handy storage unit for your Wii Remotes. Slotting each Wii Remote into the docking station will keep your controllers fully charged. Both remotes charge status is indicated by two LEDs that are located in-between each docking slot. A red lit LED tells you the remotes are being charged while a green LED will indicate they are fully charged and ready for action. While still on the subject of storage, at each end of the Power Station there are two grey plastic rods. These telescopic rods slide out away from the docking station enough to store a Nuncuck on either side. This helps keep the remote and its Nuncucks all in one central place and makes the whole setup look all neat and tidy.
With so few components you would think there would be very little wrong with the JOYTECH Power Station, but there are a few issues. Firstly the battery packs themselves; both packs in our review had issues with connecting to the Wii Remote battery area, the catch wasn’t able to close willingly and we had to force the clip into place. This is not a serious issue so let’s move on to the next. Most Wii owners will have the wrist strap connected to the Wii Remote, and sadly it is having this strap attached will cause problems connecting with the Power Station. Whether you have the strap hanging out the front or the back of the Power Station both will unsettle the remotes in their docking slots and prevent the remotes from initiating a connection. Without the straps this won’t be an issue but you will find yourself more than most wiggling the Wii Remotes until you see the recharging LEDs illuminate. Once again this isn’t a serious problem as once initiated the remotes will not disconnect, so overall the Power Station is a solid peripheral for the Nintendo Wii.
In conclusion the JOYTECH Power Station an essential purchase for any Wii owner whose looking for a rechargeable solution. Retailing at a RRP of £24.99 (£17.99 at Play.com) this is not only a cheap rechargeable device but over time the Power Station will save you money from consistently buying standard AAA batteries. The Power Station is a solid and functional docking station that not only keeps you charged up ready for your next gaming session but also keeps everything all tucked away within one tidy unit. If you are a Wii owner small niggles aside we can thoroughly recommend the JOYTECH Power Station.
You can purchase the Power Station and other JOYTECH peripherals at the JOYTECH Store – www.joytechstore.net. Alternatively support the site and buy the Power Station from Play.com for £17.99 by clicking here.
Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.